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Jungle Safari

National Parks in Nepal.

Langtang National Park

Situated in the Central Himalaya, Langtang National Park is the nearest park to Kathmandu. The area extends from 32 km north of Kathmandu to the Nepal-China (Tibet) border. Langtang was designated as the first Himalayan National Park in 1970-71, and was gazetted in March 1976. While the main reason for the park is to preserve the natural environment, an equally important goal is to allow local people to follow traditional land use practices that are compatible with resource protection.

 

 


Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park

Sagarmatha National Park covers an area of 1148 square kilometers in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The Park includes the highest peak in the world. Mt. Sagarmatha (Everest 8848 m.) and several other well known peaks such as Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Thamerku, Kwangde, Kangtaiga and Gyachyung Kang.

As Mt. Sagarmatha and the surrounding area is of major significance not only to Nepal but to the rest of the world, its status as a national park since 1976 is intended to safeguard its unique cultural, physical and scientific values through positive management based on sound conservation principles.

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Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve lies in Rukum, Myagdi and Baglung Districts in the Dhaulagiri Himal range in West Nepal. Putha, Churen and Gurja Himal extend over the northern boundary of the reserve. Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve was established in 1983 and was gazetted in 1987. Management objectives of the reserve allow sports hunting and preserve a representative high altitude ecosystem in West Nepal.
 

Mustang Conservation Area

In March 1992, the 'forbidden' kingdom of Mustang was opened to the outside world. Now, for the first time in recent history, foreign travelers are able to visit La Manthang, the seat of an ancient kingdom dating back to the 15th century. The Kingdom of La is situated along the north central border of Nepal north of the main range of the Himalaya's in the upper reaches of Mustang District. Lo and the area directly to its south, called Baragaon, which both fall within Upper Mustang, can be claimed as one of the most outstanding areas of the Himalaya.

The people of Upper Mustang are called Bhotias and those from Lo are called Lobas. They speak various dialects of Tibetan. Historically, their art and culture flourished due to contact with traders, monks and religious masters passing between Tibet and India, or between Ladakh and Bhutan.

The climate and geography of Upper Mustang are nearly identical to those of Western Tibet and as such, they are dramatically different from the temperate and tropical areas of the south side of the Himalayas. The dry, wind swept ecology of this Trans-Himalayan region is extremely fragile. Fuel wood is virtually non-existent, water is scare, the agricultural land yields insufficient food grains and the marginal and grasslands support only limited numbers of livestock and wildlife. With the influx of tourists, the already pressured desert environment risks further degradation. In addition, although the culture has flourished in contact with other religious and cultural centers of the Himalayas, its sudden exposure to other worlds beyond its high plateau may create a negative impact on the society.

In order to keep the destructive environmental and cultural impact of tourism in Upper Mustang to an absolute minimum, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to develop the area as a model eco-tourism area.

The Ministry of Tourism, has proposed that part of the revenue generated from trekking royalties to Upper Mustang, US$700 (per person) for 10 days and US$70 (per person) for each additional day, be earmarked for use in UMCDP to sponsor environmental and cultural preservation efforts and community development works. An Upper Mustang Development Fund has been established with the financial support of the Ministry of Tourism and the American Himalayan Foundation, to raise the living standard of the people living in Upper Mustang area. The main aim is to carry out development activities in the remotest villages. UMDP's areas of operations are centered around agriculture, animal husbandry, health and education.

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Royal Chitwan National Park

Royal Chitwan National Park stands today as a successful testimony of nature conservation in South Asia. This is the first national park of Nepal established in 1973 to preserve a unique ecosystem significantly valuable to the whole world. The park covering a pristine area of 932 sq. km is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of southern central part of Nepal. The park has gained much wider recognition in the world when UNESCO included this area on the list of World Heritage Site in 1984.

Formerly, the Chitwan valley was well known for big game and was exclusively managed as a hunting reserve for the Rana Prime Ministers and their guests until 1950. In 1963, the area south of Rapti was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. In 1970, His late Majesty King Mahendra had approved in principle the creation of Royal Chitwan National Park.

The park consists of churia hills, ox-bow lakes, flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani rivers. The Churia hill rises gradually towards the east from 150 m to over 800 m. The lower but most rugged Someshwor hills occupy most of the western portion of the park. The flood plains of Chitwan are rich alluvial. The park boundaries have been delineated by the Narayani and Rapti rivers in the north and west, and the Reu river and Someshwor hills in the south and south-west. It shares its eastern border with Parsa Wildlife Reserve.

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Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve lies on the flood plain of the Sapta-Koshi in Saptri and Sunsari Districts of eastern Nepal. The area is defined by the eastern and western embankments of the river. Koshi Tappu Reserve, gazetted in 1976, was established mainly to preserve habitat for the remaining population of wild buffalo in Nepal.


 

Shey Phoksundo National Park

Shey Phoksundo National Park is situated in the mountain region of Western Nepal, covering parts of Dolpa and Mugu Districts. Gazetted in 1984, it is the largest national park in the country with an area of 3555 sq. km. The main objectives of the park are to preserve the unique trans-Himalayan ecosystem with its typical Tibetan type of flora and fauna and to protect endangered species such as the snow leopard and musk deer.

Much of the park lies north of the Great Himalayan Range. Kanjiroba Himal lies at the southern edge of the trans-Himalayan region of the Tibetan plateau. The high Dolpa plateau in the northeast of the park is drained by the Langu (Namlang) River. The southern catchment of the park is drained by the Jugdula and Suligad Rivers, which flow south and drain into the Bheri River. Nepal's second largest lake, Phoksundo, lies at 3660 m in the upper reaches of Suligad.

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Parsa Wildlife Reserve

Parsa Wildlife Reserve was established in 1984 with an area of 499 sq. km. It occupies part of Chitwan, Makwanpur, Parsa and Bara Districts in Central Nepal. The reserve headquarter is situated at Adhabar on the Hetauda-Birgunj highway (22 km south to Hetauda and 20 km north to Birgunj).

The dominant landscape of the reserve are the Churia hills ranging from 750 m to 950 m, which run east-west. The soil is primarily composed of gravel and conglomerates making it very susceptible to erosion. The hills present a very rugged face with numerous gullies and dry stream beds. As the foothills are very porous, water flows underground and surfaces at a distance of about 15 km from the hills base.

Rara National Park

Rara National Park is located in northwest Nepal about 371 km air distance from Kathmandu. The park headquarters is about 32 km north to Jumla. Most of the park including Lake Rara lies in Mugu District, with a small area in Jumla District of Karnali Zone. This is the smallest park in Nepal (106 sq. km) with the country's biggest lake (10.8 sq. km) at an elevation of 2990 m. The lake is oval shaped with an eastwest axis and has a maximum length of 5 km and a width of 3 km. The maximum depth of the lake is 167 m. The park was gazetted in 1967 to conserve the unique beauty of Lake Rara and to protect a representative sample of flora and fauna of the Humla-Jumla region.

The elevation of the park ranges from 1800 m to 4048 m, Chuchemara Lekh is the highest point. The lake is in a deep basin, the northern and eastern rims which form part of the park boundary. The lake drains to Mugu Karnali River via Nija Khola. The lakeside pasture in the south gives way to the steep slopes of Gurchi Lekh, its crest culminating at Chuchemara in a horse-shoe shaped opening to the south drained by the Jiun River. On the west, river valleys cut through a ridge which form the natural boundary to the park.

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Royal Bardia National Park

Covering an area of 968 sq. km, Royal Bardia National Park is situated in the mid-Far Western Terai, east of the Karnali River. Originally set aside in 1968 as a Royal Hunting Reserve, the area was gazetted in 1967 as Royal Karnali Wildlife Reserve with an area of 368 sq. km. It was renamed as Royal Bardia Wildlife Reserve in 1982 and extended to include the Babai River valley in 1984. National Park status was gazetted in 1988. The main objectives of the park are to conserve a representative ecosystem of the mid-Western Terai, particularly the tiger ad its prey species.

Khaptad (Baba) National Park

Khaptad National Park is located in the mid-mountain region of Far-Western Nepal at an air distance of 446 km from Kathmandu. The core area is situated at the cross point of Bajhang, Bajura, Doti and Achham Districts of Seti Zone. The Park HQ. at Khaptad is about 50 km and 32 km walking distance respectively from Silgadhi town (Doti) and Chainpur town (Bajhang).
The park covers a unique ecosystem of the mid-mountain region of Western Nepal and is situated at around 3000 m elevation. The upland is a rolling plateau with grasslands intermixed with oak and coniferous forests.

The summer is cool and wet, whereas, the winter is cold and dry. The monsoon begins in June and ends in September with rainfall averaging less than 1000 mm. Occasional snowfall in winter with chilling wind is another characteristic.

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Royal Suklaphant Wildlife Reserve

The Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is situated in the southern part of Far-West Nepal in Kanchanpur District. The reserve lies between 80o 25' east longitude and 28o 35' north latitude.
The reserve had been a famous hunting area for many years and was declared a Royal Hunting Reserve in 1969. The reserve was gazetted in 1973 as Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. It began as an area of 155 sq. km, today the reserve covers an area of 305 sq. m after completion of an extension.

The riverine flood plain of the reserve comprises of hill wash and alluvial deposits. Sal (Shorea robusta) is the dominant tree species. Extensive grasslands (locally called phanta) provide an ideal habitat for swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli). The species is endangered and there is a population of about 2000 in the reserve.

Makalu - Barun National Park
and Conservation Area


High in the heart of the eastern Himalayan, seven valleys radiate from Mt. Makalu, the world's fifth highest peak. These valleys, particularly the Barun valley, treasure some of the last remaining pristine forest and alpine meadows of Nepal. From the bottom of the Arun valley, at just 435 m above sea level, the Himalayas rise to the snow-capped tip of Makalu 8463 m within a 40 km distance. Within this wide range of altitudes and climates, the Makalu-Barun area contains some of the richest and most diverse pockets of plants and animals in Nepal, elsewhere lost to spreading human habitation.

Nestled in the lower reaches of these valleys are communities of Rai, Sherpa, and Shingsawa (Bhotia) farmers. Though economically poor and isolated, they retain a rich cultural heritage. They hold the key to the preservation of the unique biological and cultural treasures of the Makalu-Barun area.

The Makalu-Barun National Park and Conservation Area was established in 1992 as Nepal's eighth national park and the first to include and adjacent inhabited conservation area as a buffer. A new park management approach encourages local people to become actively involved in protecting the forests and natural resources upon which their lives depend, and in conserving their own rich cultural heritage. Traditional resource management systems, such as community controlled grazingd forest guardianship, are being strengthened and low level technologies introduced where appropriate. Working in collaboration with an American NGO, Woodlands Mountain Institute, His Majesty's Government, Nepal is striving to improve local living standards through infrastructure, educational and income-generating activities.

Covering 2330 sq. km Makalu-Barun is a vital component of the greater Mount Everest ecosystem which includes Nepal's 1,148 sq. km Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park to the west and the 35000 sq. km Comolangma Nature Preserve in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north.

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The Annapurna Conservation Area

The area has been a smash hit in the world of conservation. Perhaps this is the area that pioneered a successful conservation without armed personnel. With the help of the local people, this highland could be well protected. With a trekking circuit from mid hills to the foothills of the Himalayas - Annapurna region covers an area of 7629 sq. km. Beginning from 790 m, the highest altitude reaches 8091 m of the Mountain Annapurna 1. This is the most visited trekking area in the mountain region. More than 60000 visitors every year.

Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) has been running it's programs in the area with an aim to conserve nature and it's local community.

Manasalu Conservation Area

This is yet another conservation area in the mountain region. Bordering the Annapurna Conservation Area to the west and Tibetan Plateau on the north and the east, the Manasalu region lies in Gorkha District to the west of Kathmandu.

Basically a trekking area, the regions altitude rises from a mere 600 m to 8163 m, the summit of Mt. Manasalu - the eighth highest peak in the world.To make conservation a success story the government has joined hands with the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (KMTNC) and the Asian Development Bank. The Manasalu Eco-Tourism Development Project has been on in the region since 1997.

The projects main objective is to deliver tangible benefits from tourism to the local community while minimizing adverse environmental impacts through the development of eco-tourism. The project has proposed seven Village Development Committees, totaling an area of 1663 sq. km in the Manasalu region, to be turned into a conservation area within five years.

Kanchanjunga Conservation Area

Just below the looming Mountain Kanchanjunga (8586 m), lies the Kanchanjunga Conservation Area. Spread in an area of 2035 sq. km, the area is made up of alpine grass lands, rocky outcrops, dense temperate and sub-tropical forests, and low river valleys with the Kanchanjunga as its crown.

Situated in north eastern Nepal in Taplejung District, the conservation area is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region-China in the north, Sikkim-India in the east and Sankhuwasabha District in the west.

In 1998, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and WWF Program together launched the Kanchanjunga Conservation Area Project to implement biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

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